Oven Roasted Colossal Shrimp

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I went to the store today to buy salmon and came home with colossal shrimp. It was impossible to resist them. They looked pristine and, well, colossal, artfully arranged on ice in the fish case – and they were on sale. How could they be ignored? I didn’t know how I would prepare them and was open to suggestions. The man who sold me the shrimp recommended shaking them in a plastic bag with oil and a spice mix from Emeril Lagasse. I posed the question to my foodie facebook friends and received an answer which made me laugh, since it called for stuffing the shrimp with crab, but due to a typo, it read “with crap”, which fleetingly caused me to reflect upon the importance of deveining the shrimp. Meanwhile, the afternoon was nearing its end; I didn’t have any fancy spice mixes or, unfortunately, any fresh crab on hand. So, this is what I came up with, and the results were delicious.

Oven Roasted Colossal Shrimp
serves 4

16 colossal shrimp
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Juice of one lime

3 scallions, ends and tips discarded, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Carefully loosen the shrimp bodies from their shells without disconnecting the tail and devein the shrimp with a paring knife. Return the shrimp to the shell (this allows the marinade to permeate all around the shrimp) and place in a bowl. Combine the olive oil, lemon, and lime juice in another bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the oil and stir to combine. Pour the marinade over the shrimp, and with your hands, gently coat the shrimp with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to one hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Remove the shrimp from the marinade and discard the marinade. Arrange the shrimp in one layer in a baking dish. Roast the shrimp in the oven until the shells brighten in color and the shrimp are just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve the shrimp with rice.

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